We’re reviewing speed limits to make sure they are safe and appropriate for the road. No matter what causes a crash, speed is always a factor in the severity. Put simply, the speed of impact can be the difference between walking away or being carried away from a crash. This is especially true when pedestrians or cyclists are involved. Speed also reduces the opportunity to react to a mistake, yours or someone else’s – the faster you are travelling, the less time you have.
New Zealand’s population has increased over the past 10 years. That means more people using our roads more of the time and inevitably, more crashes.
The Government Policy Statement on Land Transport 2018/19–2027/28 (GPS 2018) supports investment to improve road safety through ensuring safe and appropriate travel speeds, and by improving roads, roadsides and intersections. An incremental, risk-based approach is being taken to speed management over the next ten years, targeting the areas of the network that pose the greatest risk to road users. The GPS sets out an expectation for the NZ Transport Agency and local road controlling authorities to focus on treating the top 10 percent of the network which will result in the greatest reduction in deaths and serious injuries, as quickly as possible. This can involve reviewing speed limits and/or making engineering improvements to make a road safe for its current speed limit.
Government Policy Statement on Land Transport 2018/19–2027/28 (GPS 2018)(external link)
We’re also responding to communities who are understandably concerned that speeds that might have felt safe in the past, don’t any longer due to traffic volumes and increasing numbers of pedestrians and cyclists. While we need to balance the interests of everyone who uses the roads, if people are telling us the speeds in their communities feel too high, we want to look into it and make changes where appropriate.